tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC December 14, 2015 5:30pm-6:00pm CST
lives of fellow troops. records shattered. with winter a week away it feels like spring across much of the country. what's causing it? anan youon't believe how long it will last. and autism risk? doctors see a connection between pregnant women taking anti-depress ats and increased chance of having a baby with autism. what all expectant parents should know. "nightly news" begins right now. good evening, as suddenly surging ted cruz has set the stage for a potential republican shshdown in iowa between two men who enter this race as outsider book ends to the gop mainstream. severat new polls show senator cz rapidly moving up on donald trump, pitting the two into open political warfare, and presenting a challenge and a dilemma to the party establishment.
of tomorrow's next republican debate. c's kasie hunt has s the latest. >> reporter: less than 50 days out from the iowa caucuses, ted uz is closing in on donald trump, and their unofficial trucece officially over.. >> look at the way he's dealt with the senate, where he goes in there like a, you know, frankly, like a little bit of a maniac. >> reporter: so far,2 cruz is laughing off trump's attacks, taking to twitter with a link to the famous "maniac" theme from "flashdance." she's a maniac, maniac >> trump is still leadinggn national polls. in iowa "the des moines register" shows cruz beating him by ten points. what is behind the surge?e? a sophisticated game in iowa. long drive. >> 13 1/2 hours. >> reporter: they're joining dozens of volunteers who are so dedicated they're paying their own way to bunk in a dorm known as campp cruz.
dorm beds. my husband says let's bumping 'em. >> oh, fantastic. >> reporter: this is where camp cruz becomes the strike force, getting equipppp with tablets that s sw them which doors to knock on and what to say as they try to convince iowa voters to pick ted cruz. >> can ted cruz count on your support in the caucus? >> yes. >> reporter:r:ut not everyone is sold, and there are signs trump's attacks are hitting home. >> there's just a little bit something just about his persona comes across that i hahan't bought yet. >> reporter: the gop establishment never saw it coming, the republican nomination fight between two outsiders who have made few friends inside the party. >> trump and cruz could be a disaster for the republican party. it's going to be difficult potentially for the party to win over mainstream voters in swing states. >> reporter: republicans e gathering here in las vegas aheadf the last debatat of the year. also today, donald trump releasing a letter from his doctor saying that if he wins, he'd be "the
ever elected to the presidenen." lester? >> kakae, thank you. now to the stunning turn of events for u.s. army sergeant bowe bergdahl held captive by the taliban for five years after walking away from his base in of adawan stand, then final freed last year in a dramatic and controversial prisoner swap. many called bergdahl a deserter or worse, and now tonight, he's facing a court-martial as our pentagon correspondent jim miklaszewski reports. >>epte held hostage by the taliban for five years, sergeant bowe bergdahl could face life inn military prison president army ordered him to face court-martial for des ergs and endangering the safety of his fellow soldiers. >> 20 minutes out, good grief i'm oveve my head. suddenly this starts to sink in, i really did something bad. >> reporter: in his first person account for the podcast serial, bergdahl describes how he walked away from his outpost in eastern
army commanders of leadership problems, but was soon captured by a group of heavily armed taliban fighters. >> i'm not stupid enough to try and knife off a bunch of guys with ak-47s. >> reporter: bergdahl was released in a controversial prisoner swap for five taliban prisoners held at guantanamo bay. that samam day, president obama welcomed bergdahl's parents to the rose garden. >> wonderful. it's a good day. >> yes is a today good day. >> reporter: today bergdahl's attorney called the charges against his client excessive. >> the government had shown probable cause for one thing own, a one-day awol. >> reporter: the army itself is spliliover the case. many believe bergdahl should be punished for putting the lives of his fellow soldiers at risk but the investigator in the case suggests that any jail time for bergdahl would be inappropriate. bergdahl remains on active duty, no date has been set for his court-martial. jim miklaszewski, nbc
> many americans are on edge following the recent attacks in paris and san bernardino. in our brand new nbc news/"wall street journal" poll, 40% say the federal government's top priority is national security and terrorism. that number has more than doubled since april, and 29% say they're worried that they, or a loved one, will be the victim of a terror attack. but today, for the second time in just over a week, presisint obama argued that his strategy against isis is working. this time he made those comments in a rare appearance at the pentagon. >> last month in november we dropped more bombs on isil targets than any other month since this campaign started. the point is isil leaders cannot hide and our next message to them is simple, you are nextxt >> the president was at the pentagon for a meeting with his national security council. on thursday he will also visit the national counterterrorism center before traveling to hawaii on friday for christmtm vacation. let's turn now to the missed signs in
as of now, screeners do not regularly look at social media for people applying to come to this country on so-called fiance visas but that could change now that we know one of the llers left clues on social media before she camehere, but they weren't flagged until too late. we get more from our pete williams. >> reporter: well before she applied to come to the united states, officials say, tashfeen malik was expressing support for violent jihad on social media, but the u.s. agencies that reviewed her application for a fiance visa did not know that. now the obama administration is reviviing whether social media foror visa applicants should be checked, something many employers already do. >> the social media placed a whole new burden and a whole new set of questions, but not impmpsible ones to resolve. >> reporter: here's how the process works, a u.s. citizen applies for a k-1 visa to bring in a fiance from overseas.
foreign applicant is checked against u.s. terrorism databases and state department officers overseas get the applicant's fingerprints and check criminal records but surprisingly, even in pakistan where tashfeen malik is from, the process seldom includes a face-to-gase interview. >> we only interview in the k-1 program in cases where there's some issue that needs to be explored. >> reporter: tonight u.s. officials say tashfeen malik's jihadist messages were no only missed because they weren't checked but also because they were sent privately to the facebook page of her sister, not posted publicly. meantime investigators work to build a time liner what malik and fa rook were doing before and after the shooting. >> there was a moment that a vehicle very similar to that newer model ford excursioio i believeve that's what it was, had passed by the dealership.
chairman of the pous homeland security committee says it will consider a bill to require in-person interviews and social screenings for visa applicants. last year the number of fiance visas was about 36,000. tonight we're just over a week from winter, but you wouldn't know it, across much of the country, where it's so warm, it feels like spring, and heat records are dropping left and right. temperatures i the 60s and 70s, where last year they were alrerey buried in snow. nbc's dylan dreyer reports on the reason and how long into winter this will last. >> reporter: just eight days before the offici start of winter, a december heat wave has set more than 1,000 record high temperatures across the northeast and midwest. out west it's another story, winter is in full effect, treacherous roads, and packed slopes, but ski resorts back east are seeing green and not the good kind. >> we really need the temperatures to change, or at least become a little more seasonal so we can get
the facility open. >> reporter: by this time last year, upstate new york was already buried by snowstorms.& up to six feet of snow fell in parts of western new york. what a difference a year makes, with no snow so far this december, buffalo broke a 116-year-old record. last year's bone chilling temperatures have given way to this, record temperatures reaching new highs, 70 in philadelphia, 71 in buffalo, and 72 in baltimore. it like weather whiplash, thanks in part to el nino. >> what we are seeing this year is a near record-setting el nino pattern over the pacific ocean, which is transporting very warm air across the entire united states. >> reporter: with el nino reaching its peak, the country can expect several more weeks of mild temps in the midwest and northeast, and storms out west, but as we approach february, a more typical winter should return. now here in new york city, it is still 61
a high of 65 earlier today, and for those of you hoping for a white christmas, i'm sorry, but ittooks like most of the country will not be seeing one this year. don't worry, it will snow eventually, it's just not going to get here in time for christmas. lester? >> dylan dreyer tonight in new york, thank you. it happened exactly three years ago today, a massacre of innocents, one of the worst mass shootings in our nation's history, 20 ildren, ages 6 and 7, murdered along with six adults at sandy hook elementary school in newtown, connecticut. in the aftermath, there was a sense in this country that something would change, whether it be gun law, better access to mental health care or some other solution, but as our stephanie gosk reports, hundreds of children have lost their lives to gun violence in this country since that awful day three years ago. >> reporter: o name on this list would bee one too many. instead at least 555 children under the age of 12 have died from firearms since the shooting at sandy hook
child every other day for the last three years. the numbers compiled by nbc news showed children are no safer from guns now than they were before the newtown shooting. even though overall gun violence in the country has dropped. the stories are as varied as they are tragic. >> why did this have to happen? why couldn't it have just been me? >> reporter: hi vu's 10-year-old son aaron was killed when two gunmen robobd his business and opened fire. 9-year-old tyshawn was murdered because gang members allegedly had a vendetta against his father. 9-year-old corbin. some of the deaths could have been avoided with better gun safety, and with gun sales on the rise, it's a focus f f some dealers. >> people have loaded guns in the house are just asking for a problem if they have
biden's familyas owned this gun shop in new jersey since the '70s. he actually helped write the state law requiring a gun lock be sold with every gun. you have to have a license to drive a car. you're feeling that should extend to gun ownership? >> i havav no problem with people carrying guns. it should go through some type of training or to go pass a test to make sure they're qualified. >> rorter: he is among 84% of americans who support background checks for all gun sales, but legislation on background checks went nowhere in congress. >> right now, we are being distracted by cultural debates rather than on the central policy questions that are important to keeping americans safe from gun violence. >> reporter: still since the newtown shooting, 4141tates have passed their ownwn laws strengthening gun regulation, not willing to wait for congress. evidence that in some plac, these facesd have broken the gridlockck
news, glassboro, new jersey. still ahead tonight could you be putting your child at higher riskf autism? what a new study has to sayay about pregnant women who take antidepressants. also what you're required to do if you're getting one of these hot holiday gifts, or els ya know, viagra helps guys with erectile dfunction get and keep an erection. talk to your doctor about viagra. ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough for sex. do not take viagra if you take nitrates for chest pain or adempas for pulmonary hypertension. your blood pressure could drop to an unsafe level. to avoid long-term injury, seek immediate medical help for an erection lasting more than four hours. stop taking viagra and call your doctor right away if you experience a sudden decrease or loss in vision or hearing. ask your doctor about viagra. ugh! heartburn! no one burns on my watch! try alka-seltzer heartburn reliefchews. they work fast and don't taste chalky. mmm...amazing. i have heartburn. alka-seltzer heartburn reliefchews.
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troubling connection between mothers w w takedepressants and higher risk at their children children developing autism. >> reporter: in what is a time of great expectation and anxiety for women, today a set of scary headlines. new study finds the most commonlnl prescribed antidepressants, if taken during the second and third trimesters, are associated with an 87% increased risk of autism. but experts say it's a big jump of what is still a very small number. >> for women who are taking antidepressant during pregnancy, they found that they have one-half of 1% of an increase in having an autistic child. >> reporter: this is the latest study to link antidepressants to birth defects and developmental delays. the drugs in today's
ssris, with brand names such as prozac, paxil and zoloft. one manufacturer says it's reviewing the study, which does not conclude these drugs cause autism. >> it's really just a correlation, not a cause and effect, so it's possible that something else has caused this increase in the group that took antidepressants. >> reporter: obstetrician joanne stoneays she won't tell her patients to stop taking the drugs because untreated deprprsion can be very serious. what are the risks of not taking the medications? >> the risk of not taking the medication are increas risk for poor pregnancy outcome, higher preterm delivery rates, higher caesarian rates and potentially higher risk for adverse outcome for the baby babies. >> repororr: meaning women need to look at all options when deciding what's best for them and their babies. anne thompson, nbc news, new york. we're back in a moment with why you
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tonight on this busiest shipping day of the year for both the u.s. postal service and fedex, news about two of the hottest gifts this holiday season. amazon has stopped selling several models of the so-called hoverboards over concerns about the risk of fires caused by their lithium ion batteries. the consumer products safety commission is investigating reports of at least 11 such instances, and all of the country' major airlines have banned them from flights. and another item on so many wish lists, drones. you own one or you plan to give one as a gift, it will have to be registered with the government. new rules at the faa is detailing tonight as the feded try to cut down onn the close calls between drones and airplanes, more than 1,000 just this year. here's nbc's tom costello with more. >> reporter: it's the must have gadget of the year, more than 400,000 drones are
over the holidays, a whopping 1.5 million for all of 2015. they've also crashed at sporting events,s, even on the white e house lawn. >> we just had something fly over us, i don't know if it was a drone or balloon, it just came real quick. >> reporter: pilot report 100 drone sightings and close calls each month. now the faa is rolling out new rules that go into effect next monday, all drone owners 13 and older must register their drones online, including name, address, and e-mail. the cost $5, though that will be waived for the first 30 days. >> we think this is not just about registering. this is also about educating and providing folks with the information they neededo do this safely. >> don't fly near airports or any manned aircraft. >> reporter: by registering the drones user also also get the rules, fly below 400 feet, at least five miles from airports. while the drone industry today applauded registration, the model aircraft association calls it an unnecessary burden for its members.
to have a guy that does something stupid. >> reporter: we recently caught up with some drone enthusiast enthusiasts. >> give me a list of five things that the government does well. they're going to screw it upup >> reporter: registering drones will allow authorities to track down owners if they crash in restricted air space. the potential fine $1,100 per offense. tom costello, nbc news,,washington. w wn we come back it's the moment generations of fans have been waiting for. tonight's the night the force awakens. woman: it's been a journey to get where i am. and i didn't get here alone. there were people whwhlistened along the way. people who gave me options. kept me on track. and through it all, my retirement never got left behind. so today, i'm prepared for anything we may want tomorrow to be. every someday needs a plan.
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finally tonight, for a lucky few, the wait is over. "star wars: the force awakens" is premiering tonight in hollywood. it was a long time ago, way back in 1977, when the original became a force in popular culture. now all these years later, as our joe friar reports, the new sequel is the most widely anticipated movie of the year. >> reporter: in a galaxy far, far away, better known as hollywood -- >> oh no! >> reporter: "star wars" lovers are lining up outside the
>>t's like every family reunion. you make time for it, you can't this it. >> reporter: some of the fans will have spent 12 days in line. caroline ritter and andrew pororrs travelel from australia, before seeing the movie thursday, they'll get married right here, so what's more important? >> technically the wedding but the movie is j jt as important. >> reporter: set about 30 years after "return of the jedi" "the force awakens" will introduce a new crop of characters and mark the return of princess leia, now a general, and han solo. >> we're home. >> reporter: the movie is expected to earn $1.5 billion and $2 billion worldwide, maybe more. they could be record-breaking and could be in the top all-time. >> reporter: the premiere takes place tonight in hollywood, but when the original movie premiered in 1977, there was little fan. >> they were surprised next thing you know we
around the block. >> reporter: somewhere in the horde of moviegoer moviegoers,,3-year-old brendan thibodeau, 30 years later back in line. >> i can't wait to see it, i can't wait. it's geg to be amazing. >> reporter: for generations old and new, it's clear the force is still with us. joe fryer, nbc news, hollywood. >> and that will do it for us on this monday night. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching, and good night.t.and charged with murder after police rule a possible suicide - a homicide. plus - heavy rain storms over the weekend are causing flooding issues...yes flooding issues...right here in the cedar valley. and - governor branstad is about to enter the political recood
governor in american history. "you're watching kwwl, we've got you covered. this is the news at six." good evening everyone, i'm ron steele. and i'm amanda goodman. thanks for joining us. an iowa man is behind bars tonight- accused of shooting his waterloo girlfriend. this all happening sunday evening in the 600 block oo first street north east in hampton. 60 year old ronald lee rand charged with first degree murder for the death of his alleged girlfriend 51 year old michelle key of waterloo. kwwl'l' lauren moss spent the day in hampton- speaking with neighbors, she joins us now live with the latest- neighbors describe rand as a quiet man.. someone who kept to himself. they say usually, you could find him outtde working on his motorcycle, but sunday night...he was outside in neighbors say it's a rare sight...caution tape surrounding a home in hampton. "it's such a quiet town, safe neighborhood..just a lot of good up christmas lights...but thosee lights were actually police cars because the home across the street is now a